Patron Saint: Saint Vincent de Paul
Vincent de Paul was born in the small southern French town in 1581 and ordained as a priest in 1600 at the age of 19. As a young man, he ministered to the wealthy and powerful. However, an appointment as chaplain to a poor parish, and to prisoners, inspired him to a vocation of working with those most marginalised and powerless.
Vincent urged his followers to bring God’s justice and love to people who were unable to live a full human life:
“Deal with the most urgent needs. Organise charity so that it is more efficient…teach reading and writing, educate with the aim of giving each the means of self-support. Intervene with authorities to obtain reforms in structure… there is no charity without justice.”
He was canonised a Saint on 16 June 1737 and, in 1883, the Church designated him as the special patron Saint of all charitable associations.